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​​These are the Summaries, Findings, Commendations, Recommendations, and Requests for Responses only. For the full Report, click here. Alternatively, all of the full Reports including this one can be found on the Shasta County Grand Jury's website here.

 
 

Stillwater Business Park

Still Spending; Still Waiting

SUMMARY


The City of Redding and Redding Electric Utility have, together, spent close to $41 million to fund the land and infrastructure development at Stillwater Business Park. The City of Redding continues to spend almost $1 million a year from the General Fund on the project. Stillwater Business Park is located near the Redding Municipal Airport and consists of industrial-ready parcels currently for sale by the City of Redding. City of Redding administrators frequently cite the cost of the project at $23 million, which was the cost to buy and develop the property. However, the cost rises to $41 million when debt repayments and electrical and infrastructure by Redding Electric Utility are included. Future scheduled interest and principal repayments to service long-term bond debt over the next 20 years by both the City of Redding and Redding Electric Utility will increase the total known cost to $59 million if the bond debts are not paid off prior to maturity.


Marketing has been a collaborative effort by the Economic Development Corporation, the City of Redding, and three different marketing firms. These combined efforts over seven years have yielded about 14 serious leads and a single lot sale totaling less than $1 million. If all the parcels could be sold for the current appraised value, it appears the City of Redding would still lose at least $27 million. This number does not include Redding Electric Utility debt repayment which may be paid by future on-site electrical sales from Stillwater Business Park. City of Redding documents state the true value of the project would be measured not by real estate sales revenues, but by future economic development connected to industry at the site. To date, no new jobs, products, or services have been developed at Stillwater Business Park.


The 2016/17 Shasta County Grand Jury determined that neither the City of Redding administrators nor the Redding City Council has appointed anyone to oversee the Stillwater project. The Grand Jury recommends the Redding City Council appoint an existing staff person as manager of the project and direct staff to conduct an evaluation of the future viability of the Stillwater Business Park project.

FINDINGS


F1. The $23 million cited cost for Stillwater Business Park does not accurately represent the true cost to citizens, because it does not include all expenses associated with the Park which currently total $40,835,789. Additional infrastructure development costs at Stillwater Business Park will likely be incurred by the City, depending upon future occupancy.

F2. City residents, via the General Fund, have contributed $6,458,454 so far in interest and principal repayment on the 2007 Series A Lease Revenue Bond. An additional $13,664,689 will be contributed over the next twenty years unless the property is sold and parcel proceeds are used to pay off debt. These payments represent an ongoing drain on the City’s General Fund without providing any service to residents other than debt repayment.

F3. REU customers, via utility bills, have contributed $10,269,831 to fund infrastructure development for Stillwater Business Park and will pay more than $4.9 million in future debt repayment. Since no electrical revenue has been generated from Stillwater Business Park, REU customers pay these expenses with little or no benefit.

F4. Ten years of planning and developing and seven years of marketing have failed to create any new jobs or industry at Stillwater Business Park. Nevertheless, the City has never comprehensively re-evaluated the viability of Stillwater Business Park to determine whether additional funds should continue to be invested.

F5. The Redding City Council does not, by policy or practice, direct all funds from lot sales back to Stillwater Business Park or the Stillwater Lease Revenue Bond debt, even though retiring the debt early would lead to significant cost savings to citizens.

F6. The Redding City Council has no comprehensive, objective method, other than design elements, by which to guide its decisions on sales at Stillwater Business Park, contributing to lost time and money for both the City and potential buyers during sales negotiations.

F7. There is no single City staff member tasked with oversight of the administration, finances, marketing, and evaluations of Stillwater Business Park, which may contribute to the lack of awareness of the cost and strategic evaluation of the future viability of Stillwater Business Park.

F8. Redding City Council Members, City administrators, and other staff are not aware of the true cost of Stillwater Business Park, leaving them unable to make informed decisions about the project.


RECOMMENDATIONS


The Grand Jury recommends:

R1. By December 31, 2017, the Redding City Council contract for an external audit of all funding and expenditures related to Stillwater Business Park. This audit can be paid for by existing funds allocated to Stillwater Business Park.

R2. By September 30, 2017, the Redding City Council request Colliers International and the EDC to jointly determine the continued market demand for existing Stillwater Business Park parcels and present their findings to the City Council by November 30, 2017.

R3. By September 30, 2017, the Redding City Council direct staff to identify alternative uses of the Stillwater Business Park property and report their findings to the City Council by November 30, 2017.

R4. By December 31, 2017, the Redding City Council establish a formal procedure for comprehensively evaluating the viability of the Stillwater Business Park project.

R5. By September 30, 2017, the Redding City Council establish a policy directing funds received from any future parcel sales be utilized only for Stillwater Business Park debt repayment or infrastructure.

R6. By September 30, 2017, the Redding City Council establish a formal, documented procedure for comprehensively evaluating potential Stillwater Business Park sales using criteria such as financial viability, estimated wage rates, and number of jobs to be created.

R7. By September 30, 2017, the Redding City Council appoint an existing City staff member to manage the Stillwater Business Park Project. This person would be responsible for routine evaluation of Stillwater, including supervising marketing coordination, sales negotiations, and fiscal accountability. Further, this City staff member will report on a quarterly basis to the City Council on these Stillwater Business Park evaluations.


REQUEST FOR RESPONSES


Redding City Council:

F1 through F8

R1 through R7


City of Redding City Manager (invited):

F1 through F8

R1 through R7


Redding Electric Utility Director (invited):

F3

 

Shasta County Service Areas

Elk Trail Water Improvement Project

SUMMARY


Prompted by a citizen complaint, the 2016/17 Shasta County Grand Jury investigated the relationship between the Shasta County Water Agency and Shasta County Department of Public Works. The Grand Jury examined the roles both entities play with regard to Shasta County Service Areas. The investigation included the accounting practices of the Shasta County Water Agency, the County Service Areas, and Public Works.


The Grand Jury found there is currently no dedicated water systems engineer; instead, three Department of Public Works engineers share the responsibility of overseeing water issues for the Shasta County Water Agency. The Grand Jury also discovered County Service Area customers were charged for a fine levied against their County Service Area due to a Public Works personnel error. The Grand Jury concluded both the Water Agency and County Service Area residents would benefit from a dedicated water systems engineer overseeing water contracts, purchases, and improvement projects; addressing water loss issues in the County Services Areas would also be facilitated.


Of special note was how Shasta County handled long-standing water issues in the Elk Trail subdivision. It appears conflicting information provided by Public Works staff to Elk Trail residents caused those residents to expend over $10,000 securing a long-term water source they would never use. In addition, the Grand Jury found that as of March 2017, the Water Agency has charged County Service Area #6 – Jones Valley residents $13,900 for a water transfer that has not occurred and should not cost the residents anything.


Finally, it was discovered County Service Area #6 – Jones Valley was also charged almost $5,000 by Public Works for employee time spent on this Grand Jury investigation. The Grand Jury questions if these charges comply with California Proposition 218. Further, the Grand Jury questions whether a violation of a signed confidentiality agreement may have occurred when a Public Works project title identifying a Grand Jury investigation was created, and again when documentation with this title was distributed to the public.

FINDINGS


Water Losses in CSAs

F1. Water loss in seven of the eight water CSAs is above the national average and should be prioritized by Public Works staff.

F2. The CSA customers ultimately pay for lost water, either through increased water purchases or through repairs to correct the water loss.

F3. Identifying the causes of and/or addressing water loss will cost CSA customers unless grant funding can be obtained.

F4. Without a dedicated water systems engineer, Public Works is less able to address CSA water loss issues and secure funding for solutions to these issues. Shasta County Water Agency

F5. At least three Public Works engineers are being paid by the Water Agency for duties that could be managed by a single dedicated engineer.

F6. The Water Agency and Public Works lack dedicated management to oversee water issues in the County.


CSA Budgets

F7. It is not clear which special districts are charged administrative fees through the CSA Administration Fund – 00060, or how much these districts are charged.

F8. CSA customers pay fines levied against their CSA due to Public Works personnel errors. Elk Trail Water Improvement Project

F9. The Elk Trail Water Improvement Project demonstrates the great costs involved with designing and constructing a complex water distribution system.

F10. The efforts of both Public Works staff and Elk Trail residents to secure grant funding for the Elk Trail Water Improvement Project resulted in a lower property tax assessment than originally projected. Water Transfer between CSAs

F11. Public Works staff gave Elk Trail residents conflicting information about what water sources were available, how much water was required, and from what entities the County was willing to purchase water. This resulted in the residents unnecessarily paying $10,900 to ACID to reserve water they would never receive.

F12. The Water Agency Board of Directors adopted Shasta County Water Agency Resolution No: 2008-01, Resolution of Intent to Transfer Water from County Service Area #25 – Keswick Water to County Service Area #6 – Jones Valley Water, resulting in Jones Valley CSA incorrectly compensating Keswick CSA $13,090.11 to date.

F13. This incorrect compensation will continue until Water Agency Resolution No: 2008-01 is rescinded or expires, whichever comes first, potentially costing Jones Valley CSA an additional $39,000.

F14. Because all CVP water purchased by the Water Agency goes into a “common pool”, Jones Valley CSA did not and cannot enter into a long-term water transfer agreement with Keswick CSA.


Rural Community Assistance Corporation

F15. Public Works fails to take advantage of all available assistance resources due to a mutually adversarial relationship existing between Public Works staff and the Rural Communities Assistance Corporation. This results in a loss of potential aid to the entire County for future improvement projects. Jones Valley Community Advisory Board

F16. Jones Valley CSA CAB’s requests for monthly interaction with Public Works staff have gone unheeded by the Board of Supervisors.


Grand Jury Investigation Charges

F17. The Grand Jury found no legal authority by which Public Works may charge a CSA for staff time spent on a Grand Jury investigation.

F18. It appears Jones Valley CSA was improperly charged for Public Works staff time spent on a Grand Jury investigation under “CSA #6 Jones Valley Grand Jury Investigation” for an investigation about Public Works’ administration of all the water CSAs and the Water Agency.

F19. Without the County conducting an analysis, CSA residents cannot know how much they have been charged for any Grand Jury investigations.

F20. The Grand Jury questions if Public Works charging CSA residents for staff time spent on a Grand Jury investigation is in compliance with Proposition 218.

F21. The Grand Jury questions if Public Works charging CSA residents for staff time spent on a Grand Jury investigation is in compliance with Shasta County Code 13.12.120.

F22. Charging small County district residents for resources spent on Grand Jury investigations will likely have a chilling effect on both the public and future grand juries throughout the State.

Grand Jury Admonishments

F23. The Grand Jury questions if a high-ranking Public Works engineer may have violated a signed confidentiality agreement.


RECOMMENDATIONS


The Grand Jury recommends:

R1. By September 30, 2017, the Board of Supervisors and Water Agency Board of Directors jointly direct staff to assess and report back on what measures the County could take to stem water losses in all the CSAs. The report should also be forwarded to the CSA CABs.

R2. By September 30, 2017, the Board of Supervisors and Water Agency Board of Directors jointly direct staff to assess and report back the financial impact on CSA customers of current or future measures the County can take to stem water losses in the CSAs. The report should also be forwarded to the CSA CABs.

R3. By December 31, 2017, the Board of Supervisors and the Water Agency Board of Directors jointly direct staff to appoint a single Public Works engineer solely dedicated to managing all water issues in the County.

R4. By December 31, 2017, the Board of Supervisors direct staff to conduct an audit to determine which special districts pay administrative fees through the CSA Administration Fund – 00060, and the amounts of these fees.

R5. By September 30, 2017, the Board of Supervisors enact a policy stating CSA customers do not pay fines levied against their CSA due to Public Works personnel errors.

R6. By September 30, 2017, the Board of Supervisors direct Public Works staff to provide clear and concise information to County residents regarding any water sources to fulfill future needs.

R7. By September 30, 2017, the Water Agency Board of Directors rescind Shasta County Water Agency Resolution No: 2008-01, Resolution of Intent to Transfer Water from County Service Area #25 – Keswick Water to County Service Area #6 – Jones Valley Water.

R8. By September 30, 2017, the Water Agency Board of Directors direct staff to immediately reimburse Jones Valley Water Fund – 0377 all monies paid to Keswick CSA under Shasta County Water Agency Resolution No: 2008-01, Resolution of Intent to Transfer Water from County Service Area #25 – Keswick Water to County Service Area #6 – Jones Valley Water.

R9. By September 30, 2017, the Board of Supervisors direct Public Works staff to open the lines of communication with the Rural Communities Assistance Corporation and report back to the Board of Supervisors on the Corporation’s response.

R10. By September 30, 2017, the Board of Supervisors direct Public Works staff to work with the Jones Valley CSA CAB to establish a mutually agreed upon CAB meeting schedule.

R11. By September 30, 2017, the Board of Supervisors direct staff to determine and report back what specific legal authority exists to allow Public Works to charge CSAs for time spent on a Grand Jury investigation.

R12. By September 30, 2017, the Board of Supervisors direct staff to provide a public report outlining legal justification for the charges under Project Number 111029 “CSA #6 Jones Valley Grand Jury Investigation” by December 31, 2017, or to refund Jones Valley CSA any and all charges under this project title.

R13. By September 30, 2017, the Board of Supervisors direct staff to conduct an investigation to determine how much each CSA has been charged for Public Works staff time spent on any Grand Jury investigation. By December 31, 2017, staff publicly report on their findings and the legal justification for the charges, or refund the amounts charged.

R14. By September 30, 2017, the Board of Supervisors direct Public Works staff to ensure and report back that they are in compliance with California Proposition 218.

R15. By September 30, 2017, the Board of Supervisors direct Public Works staff to ensure and report back that they are in compliance with Shasta County Code 13.12.120.

R16. By September 30, 2017, the Board of Supervisors direct County Administrative staff to either publicly report the legal justification for charging the CSAs, or create and present a policy ensuring CSAs are not charged for Public Works staff time spent on any Grand Jury investigations.

R17. By September 30, 2017, the Board of Supervisors direct Public Works staff to comply with Grand Jury confidentiality agreements.


REQUEST FOR RESPONSES


Shasta County Board of Supervisors:

F1 through F9, F11, F14 through F23

R1 through R6, R9 through R17


Shasta County Water Agency Board of Directors:

F1 through F3, F5, F6, F9, F10, F12 through F14

R1, R2, R3, R7, R8


Shasta County Executive Officer (invited):

F1 through F23

R1 through R17


Shasta County Department of Public Works Director (invited):

F1 through F23

R1 through R17

 

Unfunded Pension Liabilities: Shasta County and the Cities of Redding, Anderson, and Shasta Lake

Pay Now or Pay More Later

SUMMARY


Unfunded pension and other post-employment benefit liabilities have become a major problem nationwide for public agencies such as cities, counties, and states. Some agencies, such as the Cities of Stockton and Vallejo, have had to declare bankruptcy due in part to these large unfunded liabilities. The 2016/17 Shasta County Grand Jury investigated the unfunded liabilities of four local agencies: Shasta County and the Cities of Redding, Anderson, and Shasta Lake. Examination and comparison of these local agencies with each other and with other California agencies was helpful in determining how serious these unfunded liabilities are for the agencies’ financial stability, and the degree to which they threaten public services funded by taxpayers. This examination also assisted in identifying successful strategies to reduce the impact on future services to the public.


Shasta County’s local agencies must closely monitor their situation and look for ways to reduce their unfunded liabilities without having to drastically cut the vital services they provide to the community. Although this is a serious concern, the Grand Jury found that all four agencies are attempting to be proactive and mitigate future budgetary difficulties.

FINDINGS


F1. The unfunded pension liabilities of Shasta County and the Cities of Redding, Anderson, and Shasta Lake have significantly increased over the last 15 years, going from being fully funded to only partially funded.

F2. Because CalPERS is reducing its assumed investment rate of return from 7.5% to 7.0%, the pension plans of Shasta County and the Cities of Redding, Anderson, and Shasta Lake will be less funded over the next five years and must increase their contributions.

F3. Because CalPERS contributions from Shasta County and the Cities of Redding, Anderson, and Shasta Lake will increase, an increase in available revenues, a reduction in services provided, or both will be necessary to cover these contributions.

F4. None of the agencies have any control over their CalPERS investment returns, which are directed by CalPERS and are subject to the fluctuations of the stock market.

F5. The City of Redding, which already has the lowest funded ratio of all four agencies, is at greater risk of increased unfunded liabilities because of its other post-employment benefits and Public Agency Services Retirement Enhancement plans.


COMMENDATIONS


The Grand Jury commends:

C1. Shasta County and the Cities of Anderson and Shasta Lake for recognizing the potential fiscal impact of unfunded pension liabilities and for the agencies’ efforts to control their increases.

C2. Shasta County, at the recommendation of the Shasta County Auditor-Controller, for increasing its contributions towards its unfunded other post-employment benefits and saving interest by prepaying its annual CalPERS contribution.

C3. The City of Shasta Lake for its efforts to reduce its pension and other post-employment benefit liabilities by refinancing its pension obligation debt.

C4. The City of Anderson for its efforts to reduce its pension liabilities by using consultants and contracted labor when possible.


RECOMMENDATIONS


The Grand Jury recommends:

R1. By October 31, 2017, the Shasta County Board of Supervisors, with the Shasta County Auditor-Controller, and the Cities of Redding, Anderson, and Shasta Lake City Councils each look for ways to increase their contributions to CalPERS over the next twelve years with minimal loss of key services. Options could include reducing their current amortization schedules and exploring debt refinancing opportunities.

R2. By October 31, 2017, the Shasta County Board of Supervisors, with the Shasta County Auditor-Controller, and the Cities of Redding, Anderson, and Shasta Lake City Councils each look for ways to increase their revenues or reduce other expenditures, with minimal loss of key services, as CalPERS contributions increase.

R3. By December 31, 2017, the City of Redding City Council establish a five-year financial plan to increase its funded ratio for its CalPERS Safety Plan from 64.5% to 70%, and for its Miscellaneous Plan from 70% to 75%, with minimal loss of key services.


REQUEST FOR RESPONSES


Shasta County Board of Supervisors:

F1 through F4

R1, R2


City of Redding City Council:

F1 through F5

R1 through R3


City of Anderson City Council:

F1 through F4

R1, R2


City of Shasta Lake City Council:

F1 through F4

R1, R2


Shasta County Auditor-Controller:

F1 through F4

R1, R2


Shasta County Executive Officer (invited):

F1 through F4

R1, R2


City of Anderson City Manager (invited):

F1 through F4

R1, R2


City of Redding City Manager (invited):

F1 through F5

R1 through R3


City of Shasta Lake City Manager (invited):

F1 through F4

R1, R2

 

Shasta County Joint Audit Committee

SUMMARY


Local public officials and agencies have a legal and ethical obligation for accountability and transparency in how they spend the revenues funded by taxpayers. Required by state law, Shasta County’s annual external audit is an important safeguard of this process. For over 20 years, the Joint Audit Committee (comprised of representatives from County departments, the Board of Supervisors, and the Shasta County Grand Jury) has overseen the selection of the independent auditor and the County’s annual auditing procedure. As set forth in the October 29, 2002, Shasta County Joint Audit Committee Policies and Procedures, the expressed purpose of the Joint Audit Committee is to “ensure that a thorough and objective audit is undertaken each year with regard to the funds, records and accounts of the County.”


The presence of Grand Jury members on the Joint Audit Committee provides a measure of assurance to the public that the auditing process is being handled appropriately. It reinforces the observance of transparency by county officials during the external audit and provides an effective way for the Grand Jury and the Board of Supervisors to participate in the audit process. The Shasta County Grand Jury’s involvement in the County’s audit process is supported by California Penal Code Section 925, which mandates grand juries to annually investigate and report on the accounts and records of their counties.


Shortly after its impanelment, the 2016/17 Shasta County Grand Jury was informed by one County official that the Joint Audit Committee had been “dissolved”. An investigation was launched to learn more. The Grand Jury asserts that the Joint Audit Committee continues as an important body that fosters fiscal accountability and transparency and was not dissolved.

FINDINGS


F1. The Joint Audit Committee was not properly dissolved and therefore is still an existing committee.

F2. Without the opportunity to participate in Joint Audit Committee meetings, the Grand Jury loses an important tool in fulfilling its oversight role of the County’s financial processes pursuant to California Penal Code Section 925.

F3. Without the Joint Audit Committee, the Board of Supervisors and other County officials lose an opportunity to further participate in the audit process.

F4. The involvement of Grand Jury members on the Joint Audit Committee provides greater accountability and transparency to the public regarding the County’s annual external auditing process.


RECOMMENDATIONS


The Grand Jury recommends:

R1. By June 25, 2017, the Shasta County Board of Supervisors direct the Chairperson to hold a Joint Audit Committee meeting with the 2016/17 Grand Jury to discuss the committee’s ongoing purpose.

R2. By July 31, 2017, the Shasta County Board of Supervisors direct the Chairperson to schedule Joint Audit Committee meetings with the 2017/18 Shasta County Grand Jury Foreperson.


REQUEST FOR RESPONSES


Shasta County Board of Supervisors:

F1 through F4

R1, R2


Shasta County Auditor-Controller:

F2 through F4


Shasta County Executive Officer (invited):

F1 through F4

R1, R2

 

GPS Ankle Bracelet Monitoring and Law Enforcement

SUMMARY


The 2016/17 Shasta County Grand Jury investigated Global Positioning System ankle bracelet monitoring use by the Shasta County Probation Department and Shasta County Sheriff’s Office. Ankle bracelet monitoring has been used throughout the State for a decade to assist law enforcement and at-risk offenders achieve compliance for court attendance and pre-trial work. It is also used to enforce sentencing requirements when incarceration is not available or appropriate. The management of the County’s criminal population, the lack of bed space in the jail, and a need for alternate supervision and custody options were the main concerns behind the Grand Jury’s interest. The investigation revealed a high compliance rate for pre-trial appointments for those with a Global Positioning System ankle bracelet monitoring device. It is also evident that additional bed space in the jail is freed up for more serious offenders.


Recent advances in monitoring technology will enhance and support future enforcement needs. Global Positioning System ankle bracelet monitoring was found to be a cost-effective, reliable means to prioritize jail bed space while ensuring enforcement of criminal prosecution and sentencing. State revenue sources for alternate custody programs are dependent on funding priorities established by the Community Corrections Partnership with the approval of the Shasta County Board of Supervisors.

FINDINGS


F1. Due to the State’s increased release of offenders to counties for supervision, the burden on the County for monitoring those offenders is increasing.

F2. Emerging monitoring technologies such as smartphone applications utilizing facial biometrics may offer cost-effective and efficient options to complement GPS ankle monitoring and improve offender supervision.

F3. Currently, not all offenders on monitoring programs are actively monitored for compliance 24 hours every day, which may lead to delayed responses by Probation or Sheriff’s Office staff to violations.

F4. GPS ankle bracelet monitors are an effective supervision tool, as evidenced by the low recidivism rates for offenders in the SOR and Work Release programs.


RECOMMENDATIONS


The Grand Jury recommends:

R1. By July 1, 2018, the Board of Supervisors and the Sheriff-Coroner direct staff to work with the Community Corrections Partnership to jointly determine if additional funding sources will be necessary to expand monitoring programs in anticipation of an increased offender population.

R2. By March 31, 2018, the Board of Supervisors direct staff to explore and report back if smartphone applications utilizing facial biometrics would be a cost-effective option for expanding current monitoring programs.

R3. By December 31, 2017, the Board of Supervisors and the Sheriff-Coroner direct staff to jointly explore and report back if contracting 24-hour GPS monitoring services to SHASCOM would be cost-effective and efficient.


REQUEST FOR RESPONSES


Shasta County Board of Supervisors:

F1 through F4

R1 through R3


Shasta County Sheriff-Coroner:

F1, F3, F4

R1, R3


Shasta County Executive Officer (invited):

F1 through F4

R1 through R3


Shasta County Chief Probation Officer (invited):

F1 through F4

R1 through R3


SHASCOM Director (invited):

F3

R3

 

City of Redding Code Enforcement

SUMMARY


City of Redding code enforcement resources are currently allocated between two City departments: Development Services and the Redding Police Department. Code enforcement operations in the City of Redding address State and municipal code violations such as unlawful camps, vacant buildings, unpermitted construction, zoning constraints, and marijuana cultivation. Some personnel engaged in code enforcement activities operate under the Redding Police Department, where unlawful camp abatement personnel have cleaned up over 115 tons of debris from illegal camps in the last fiscal year. This represents a 240% increase since 2010.


Code enforcement fills critical needs in public safety as well as economic development. Trash and debris, vacant and neglected buildings, and unpermitted construction influence the safety and economic health of a city by impacting business development, property values, and tourism.


Since 2014, the Redding City Council has allocated General Fund reserve monies to “Enhanced Code Enforcement” on two separate occasions. Although these funds were allocated for three purposes, they have been used almost exclusively for abatement of unlawful camps. In a February 2017 Redding City Council Priority Setting Meeting, “Enhanced Code Enforcement” was once again identified as a top budgeting priority. None of this funding has ever been assigned to support the daily operations of the two full-time Code Enforcement Division personnel who open over 700 new case files annually. Many of these cases relate directly to public safety.


The 2016/17 Shasta County Grand Jury recommends the Redding City Council consolidate code enforcement personnel under the Redding Police Department and create a formal prioritization process for code enforcement cases focusing on public safety needs.

FINDINGS


F1. City of Redding code enforcement funds, supervision, staff, and responsibilities are spread among three departments, resulting in a lack of comprehensive planning, supervision, evaluation, communication, and follow-up.

F2. The Redding City Council implemented short-term “Enhanced Code Enforcement” special funding to address three long-term public safety issues.

F3. The Redding City Council’s short-term “Enhanced Code Enforcement” special funding resulted in positions that were not integrated into the comprehensive planning, supervision, prioritization, and evaluation of the Building/Code Enforcement Division or RPD.

F4. The Redding City Council has renewed the short-term “Enhanced Code Enforcement” special funding despite a lack of evidence showing the Program’s success.

F5. Building/Code Enforcement Division regularly responds to California municipal code violations affecting public safety but is supervised by the City of Redding Development Services Department rather than the RPD.

F6. Due to the diffuse organizational structure of code enforcement in the City, there are no opportunities for cross-training of personnel engaged in code enforcement responsibilities related to unlawful camp abatement as well as other code enforcement complaints.

F7. Unlawful camp abatement by RPD is accomplished without strategic planning, supervision, or evaluation.

F8. None of the City of Redding’s code enforcement personnel have any formal procedures for prioritizing duties and assignments.

F9. Due to current workloads and limited resources, Building/Code Enforcement Division personnel may find it difficult to conduct timely follow-up or mitigate existing case backlogs.

F10. Building/Code Enforcement Division personnel have not responded to homes on the Redding Electric Utility’s weekly “occupied without power” lists for over a year, meaning potentially unsafe living conditions go unaddressed by the City.


RECOMMENDATIONS


The Grand Jury recommends:

R1. By September 30, 2017, the Redding City Council direct staff to conduct an analysis to clearly define code enforcement responsibilities and determine whether all personnel, supervision, and budgets for code enforcement should be consolidated under a single department, such as the Redding Police Department, with a single supervisor. This analysis is to be completed by December 31, 2017.

R2. By June 30, 2018, the Redding City Council end any further short-term “Enhanced Code Enforcement” special funding. The Grand Jury further recommends the Redding City Council direct staff to identify and report on potential long-term funding needs and sources for future City code enforcement activities.

R3. By September 30, 2017, the Redding City Council direct staff to begin cross-training all City personnel engaged in code enforcement in responsibilities related to unlawful camp abatement as well as other code enforcement complaints.

R4. By September 30, 2017, the Redding City Council direct the Code Enforcement Division and the Redding Police Department to jointly develop a formal process for prioritization of workloads including case files, unlawful camps, problem motels and other code enforcement issues. This process is to be completed by December 31, 2017.

R5. By September 30, 2017, the Redding City Council direct Building/Code Enforcement Division staff to immediately prioritize “occupied without power” lists for enforcement.


REQUEST FOR RESPONSES


Redding City Council:

F1 through F10

R1 through R5

 

Responses to the 2015/16 Shasta County Grand Jury

SUMMARY


The grand jury's annual work includes conducting numerous investigations, some of which result in the production of reports with findings and, possibly, recommended actions. A recommended action cannot be mandated, but must be reviewed and considered by the governing bodies and elected officials to whom it is directed. By law, these findings and recommendations require responses from the governing bodies and elected officials to which they are directed. In order to ensure that these findings and recommendations have been fully responded to, grand juries may follow up to determine if the responses complied with California law.


The 2016/17 Shasta County Grand Jury determined a majority of responses to the 2015/16 Shasta County Grand Jury findings and recommendations were in compliance. However, responses from three agencies were initially out of compliance with the statutory requirements. They were: the Shasta County Board of Supervisors, the Shasta Local Agency Formation Commission, and the Shasta County Sheriff-Coroner.


Upon request, amended responses were received and are now in compliance with the statutory requirements.

FINDINGS


F1. The Shasta County Board of Supervisors’ responses to three Recommendations were noncompliant, requiring additional time and resources to be spent by both the Board and the Grand Jury to resolve the issue.

F2. LAFCO failed to respond to all seven Findings, requiring additional time and resources to be spent by both LAFCO and the Grand Jury to resolve the issue.

F3. The Shasta County Sheriff-Coroner’s responses to four Recommendations were noncompliant, requiring additional time and resources to be spent by both the Sheriff’s Office and the Grand Jury to resolve the issue.

F4. Ultimately, all responses to the 2015/16 Shasta County Grand Jury reports were in compliance.


RECOMMENDATIONS


The Grand Jury recommends:

R1. The Shasta County Board of Supervisors ensure its initial responses to any future Shasta County Grand Jury reports are compliant with California Penal Code section 933.05.

R2. LAFCO ensure its initial responses to any future Shasta County Grand Jury reports are compliant with California Penal Code section 933.05.

R3. The Shasta County Sheriff-Coroner ensure his initial responses to any future Shasta County Grand Jury reports are compliant with California Penal Code section 933.05.


REQUEST FOR RESPONSES


Shasta County Board of Supervisors:

F1

R1


Shasta Local Agency Formation Commission:

F2

R2


Shasta County Sheriff-Coroner:

F3

R3


Shasta County Executive Officer (invited):

F1

R1


Shasta Local Agency Formation Commission Executive Officer (invited):

F2

R2

 

Shasta County Sheriff's Office - Animal Regulation Unit

SUMMARY


A citizen complaint about animal neglect led the 2016/17 Shasta County Grand Jury to investigate the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office Animal Regulation Unit. Animal Regulation Officers in this unit are responsible for providing animal welfare services throughout the unincorporated parts of Shasta County. Shasta County closed its animal shelter in 2011 and entered into a 25-year Personal Services Agreement with Haven Humane Society to provide animal care, adoption, sheltering, and licensing services.


Upon completing the review, the Grand Jury determined Animal Regulation Unit supervisors have not developed or maintained policies or procedures for the Animal Regulation Unit. The Animal Regulation Unit has no written procedures for animal seizures or long-term recordkeeping.


Finally, the Grand Jury found the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office has not performed an annual review of the Personal Services Agreement between the County and Haven Humane Society, as required by the Agreement.

FINDINGS


F1. The lack of a written and legally vetted animal seizure policy and procedures leaves AROs unable to use their professional discretion to determine if seizure of an animal is lawful and to act on that determination without contacting County Counsel.

F2. The lack of policies and procedures related to record-keeping and case-tracking hinders the ability of AROs to consistently provide timely follow-up to determine if corrective action has been taken to resolve the original complaint.

F3. The Unit’s dedicated phone line receives calls for service without policy or procedures for answering, logging, and tracking them and duplicates call services provided by SHASCOM.

F4. The ARO III position has been unfilled, and the Animal Regulation Unit supervisors have not developed or maintained policies or procedures for the Unit. As a direct consequence, the supervising Patrol Operations sergeants do not have policies and procedural references to guide them in their supervision of the Animal Regulation Unit.

F5. The Shasta County Sheriff’s Office, as the County’s agent, has not met the contractual obligation of the Personal Services Agreement with Haven Humane Society which requires annual evaluations of the Agreement.


RECOMMENDATIONS


The Grand Jury recommends:

R1. By September 30, 2017, the Shasta County Sheriff-Coroner direct Animal Regulation Unit supervisors to create and seek legal County Counsel approval of an animal seizure policy and procedures.

R2. By December 31, 2017, the Shasta County Sheriff-Coroner direct Animal Regulation Unit supervisors to create written policies and procedures for record-keeping and case-tracking in the Animal Regulation Unit.

R3. By September 30, 2017, the Shasta County Sheriff-Coroner direct Animal Regulation Unit supervisors to discontinue the use of the dedicated Animal Regulation Unit phone line and update its website and voicemail to direct callers to the SHASCOM non-emergency line.

R4. By September 30, 2017, the Shasta County Sheriff-Coroner direct Animal Regulation Unit supervisors to develop, maintain, and enforce comprehensive policies and procedures or delegate this responsibility to an officer in the Animal Regulation Unit.

R5. By June 30, 2018, the Shasta County Sheriff-Coroner direct staff to fulfill the provision of the County’s Personal Services Agreement with Haven Humane Society that calls for annual evaluations of the Agreement. The results of these annual evaluations should be reported to the Board of Supervisors.


REQUEST FOR RESPONSES


Shasta County Board of Supervisors:

F5

R5


Shasta County Sheriff-Coroner:

F1 through F5

R1 through R5


Shasta County Chief Executive Officer (invited):

F5

R5

 

Shasta Lake Fire Protection District

Where There's Smoke, Is There Fire?

SUMMARY


The 2015/16 Shasta County Grand Jury forwarded two citizen complaints to the 2016/17 Shasta County Grand Jury. The 2016/17 Grand Jury conducted a seven-month investigation of the Shasta Lake Fire Protection District, including a comprehensive review of staffing, Board leadership, elections, and financial management. The greatest concern was the District’s fiscal solvency, highlighted by the layoff of three firefighter engineers in May 2015. Although it left the District understaffed, the District’s financial status improved following these layoffs. These positions are being filled with funding from a two-year Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant.


The Grand Jury found the District is still vulnerable to future financial difficulties, including likely future layoffs, when the grant expires in spring 2019. The Grand Jury recommends the District proactively plan and diversify its revenue streams, such as developing a fee schedule for services. There appears to be a lack of involvement by District residents, as evidenced by few candidates coming forth to fill vacancies and run for Board positions. The District’s outdated website neither fosters community interest nor is designed to attract applicants for board positions. However, the Grand Jury acknowledges the challenges of small, independent fire districts trying to survive in today’s economic environment.

FINDINGS


F1. Without a long term financial plan, the Shasta Lake Fire Protection District faces possible future layoffs once the SAFER grant funding expires.

F2. The Shasta Lake Fire Protection District fails to take advantage of potential additional revenue streams such as a fee for service schedule and organizing community fundraising events.

F3. The Shasta Lake Fire Protection District’s outdated website does not encourage public involvement, lacks a volunteer recruitment component, and fails to inform citizens of current District matters.


RECOMMENDATIONS


The Grand Jury recommends:

R1. By December 31, 2017, the Shasta Lake Fire Protection District Board direct staff to explore alternative revenue sources. Options may include creating a reasonable fee for service schedule including emergency medical services, and organizing additional community fundraising events.

R2. By September 30, 2017, the Shasta Lake Fire Protection District Board direct staff to ensure that the District’s website is updated, a schedule for website updates is implemented, and District matters are advertised on the website.


REQUEST FOR RESPONSES


Shasta Lake Fire Protection District Board of Directors:

F1 through F3

R1, R2


Shasta Lake Fire Protection District Fire Chief (invited):

F1 through F3

R1, R2